Best TV Investigator

Carl Monday, WKYC-TV, Channel 3

Everyone in Cleveland knows Carl Monday. His well-trimmed white hair is like a warning beacon to local bad guys, his bushy mustache a hairy extension of justice. But by the time they see the 'stache, it's already too late. Case in point: Early last year, Channel 3 ran promos of Carl Monday sneaking up on an East Side miscreant stealing scrap metal. The man took one look at Monday before running down the sidewalk, screaming, "Stay away from me, Carl Monday!" When Monday finally caught up, the man, in true Scooby-Doo fashion, tried to hide behind a telephone pole. Now, that's what you call street cred. Not bad for a homegrown Kent State grad. For more than 25 years, Monday has protected the citizens of Cleveland from would-be crooks. During that time, he has racked up more than 100 awards, including more than 30 regional Emmys. In 2001, he was swiped from Fox 8 by Channel 3, as if he were a free agent with a million-dollar curve ball. Though his investigations sometimes border on the paranoid — who can forget the piece about arsenic-laced playgrounds? — they often effect change faster than local politicians can manage. A recent exposé on gay sexual encounters in area porn shops led to long-overdue monitoring of private booths. Thank God Monday didn't bust into the booths to catch the pervy perps.